Cornwall Council celebrates 2013 by moving Tristan's grave to make way for a Bus Stop

Written By The Wagnerian on Tuesday, 22 January 2013 | 6:33:00 pm

The Tristan Stone, said to mark the spot of the real Tristan's grave - and thus theoretically the place of the Liebestod (well, ok, at least poetically but we have to have some excuse to add a clip of the Jerusalem/Meier/Barenboim Tristan ) - has stood in Fowey, in Cornwall since at least the 5th century - but not for much longer. Cornwall Council has given permission for the stone (which contains the inscription "Drustans hic iacet Cunomori filius or 'Drustanus lies here, the son of Cunomorus') to be moved to make way for a "Park and Ride" to service a new housing estate to be built on land nearby.

However, not all members of the council are in agreement. Said, Councillor Bert Biscoe, a member of Cornwall Council's cabinet: "How dare anybody presume to shift it without good reason – and building a load of mundane houses in its vicinity is not good reason." He went on to describe the move as "cultural violence".

The following description is taken from Britannia:

"A few miles down the River Fowey (the locals pronounce it, "foy") from Lostwithiel, toward the channel coast of Cornwall, is a small but interesting area with three important Arthurian connections. They are all quite close together, but you may have to do some hunting for them, since their locations are not all clearly marked on tourist maps. Not to worry, though, that's what exploration is all about, isn't it?

The best known of these Arthurian sites is The Tristan Stone, just northwest of the town of Fowey. It is an obelisk-shaped stone monument, slightly split on the side, and resting on a circular base. On the wide, flat side of the stone is an inscription which purportedly dates from the sixth century. It is difficult to make out, now, but it is said to read something like, "Drustanus lies here, son of Cunomorus." Etymologists claim that Drustanus is a latinization of the Pictish name, Tristan, and that Cunomorus is a latinization of the name Kynvawr.

So what? Well, Arthurians will, at once, recognize the name Tristan (also Tristram), noble Knight of the Round Table and lover of Isolde (also Yseult, Iseult) who was wife of King Mark of Cornwall. Their tragic love story has been told by poets and writers for the better part of a thousand years. (continue reading)."


It is worth noting. that this is not the first time the stone has been moved, as it originally stood closer to Castle Dore (an Iron Age and early medieval hill fort) then it now does. We believe it was last moved to make way for a "round-a-bout". We wonder what would happen if Stonehenge was moved for similar reasons?